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Norfolk nursery's Olympic boost

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 21:43 07 July 2010

Adam Gretton

A nursery in Norfolk is making its contribution to the 2012 London games by growing more than 300,000 wetland plants for the Olympic Park.

More than 30 species of native reeds, rushes, grasses, sedges, wildflowers, and irises are maturing in waterbeds and pallets near Thetford, which will be planted in the Olympic parklands next year.

A nursery in Norfolk is making its contribution to the 2012 London games by growing more than 300,000 wetland plants for the Olympic Park.

More than 30 species of native reeds, rushes, grasses, sedges, wildflowers, and irises are maturing in waterbeds and pallets near Thetford, which will be planted in the Olympic parklands next year.

The chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) visited the nursery at Croxton today to see the work going on to help make the 100ha Olympic Park a colourful riverside setting.

The cuttings and seeds were collected from in and around the Olympic site in east London before construction started in May 2008 and were initially nurtured by Salix River and Wetland Services in Wales. The wetland species are now being grown at the Salix base near Thetford before being planted in the spring.

John Armitt chairman of the ODA said: “The plants growing in Norfolk will help regenerate the Olympic Park waterways to create habitats for wildlife and help 'future proof' the park and surrounding built-up areas against climate change and flooding. Wetlands, ponds, swales and widened rivers bristling with plants will help manage flood water and create fantastic new spaces for the public and wildlife.”

“We are on track to start creating the parklands and planting trees shortly and this contract is another great example of the companies across the UK helping to delivery the London 2012 Games working directly for the ODA or our contractors.”

The Olympic Park parklands will regenerate and open up the waterways that crisscross the area for the public and wildlife and will provide the green backdrop for the 2012 games, which will feature the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Velopark, multi-sports arena and Eton Manor outdoor sports complex.

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe added: “The fact that these plants are being nurtured in Norfolk shows how the benefits of hosting the games are being felt far and wide throughout the country - economic benefits for sure, but also a fantastic sense of pride that the entire nation is part of the Games in 2012.”

Richard Ellis, chair of East of England Development Agency, said: “It is great news that a London 2012 Games prestigious contract is being delivered from Norfolk. It is testament to the ambition and innovation of businesses in the region to be the best.”


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